12 die in bank robbery attempts, police shootout in Brazil
12 die in bank robbery attempts, police shootout in Brazil
Hostages, robbers killed in foiled bank heists in Brazil
08 December, 2018, 14:16
At least a dozen people, including six bank robbers and a child, have been killed during an attempted robbery of two banks in northeast Brazil, authorities have said.
The violence erupted in the city of Milagres, in the northeastern state of Ceara, with a fierce pre-dawn shootout between armed robbers and police.
"The criminals killed the hostages and the police killed the criminals", he added.
Macedo Landim said that two children, between 10 and 13 years old, were among the dead hostages.
The secretary for security in the state of Ceara, Andre Costa, said he understood that "the criminals killed the hostages and the police killed the criminals". It is not clear if they were robbers or police officers.
His account could not be immediately verified, as police did not respond to numerous email and phone requests for more information about the shootout or how the hostages died.
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Five of the alleged gang members died in the night-time shootout shortly after 2am local time, two died in hospital of bullet wounds and an eighth was gunned down in a police pursuit, it said.
The attempted robbery was interrupted by a police unit that had been tracking a gang responsible for similar bank robberies in the area.
Mr Landim, quoted by Brazil's Globo newspaper, said the gang had blocked a road with a truck and seized the family from a vehicle that was forced to stop. The gang then fled, reportedly grabbing the hostages on their way. The robbers could not take any money out of the two banks.
"I've never seen anything like it before", Mendonca de Santa Helena said. "I heard people yelling and crying".
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